Jeep Commander Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,
Has anyone with a lift kit experienced any vibrations in the 70 mph range? Ours came from the dealer with the 2" rancho kit and it has been back 3 times now with no success on fixing the vibration. Finally today when we picked it up our salesman rode with me. Got to 70mph and I looked at him and all he said was "Thats not right." So far the service department has balanced the tires three times but this is getting old. I think it may be the tires or wheels but has anyone else experienced this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I have no experience w/ the Rancho kit, but my dealer uses "Rusty's" and has quite a few under the belt. They are a fairly large operation that is heavily involved in the 4x4 community and are highly regarded.

They completely re-align and balance everything as part of this lift. I think the standard job for a 2" (some call it 2 1/2") Commander lift is 4 hours per the kit manufacturers I'm familiar with. This dealer has it as a 10 hour job due to the additional work. Those they've done ride as smooth as the tires allow. With factory Forteras, you cannot tell the difference.

As a side note, I'm begining to think that a 2" lift may not be worth the effort. This lift will give you practically no value off-road other than looks. It will lift the body a bit more above your suspension but it does nothing for clearance of your suspension, differential, etc. Using a taller tire is the only way to increase this clearance and a lift is only good if needed to install a taller tire. On this lift the Commander is only good for a tire about two sizes up before you run into clearance issues. You can just about run those same tires w/out the lift. Using anything taller runs into other issues w/ the steering knuckle, the routing of the a/c lines, etc. For this tall of a tire you should use the AEV 4" lift which is more radical.

Does this dealer have much experience lifting the XK?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your right about the 2" but it came with the truck and I haven't sold mama on the AEV kit and 35's with trimming the fenders. The dealership has done quite a few on the Wranglers but they said today this is the only Commander they have done. I asked the question because they are saying the lift is the cause and I just dont buy it. The vibration feels like its in the front and the only other part beside the wheel and tire that I can see making a vibration would be the halfshafts. Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
i don't know if newer vehicles even have them but the older ones required the steering stabilizer bar to be replaced with an aftermarket one if you ran bigger tires. the most notable brand was the HECO stabilizer. it attached to the drag link and stabilized the whole steering unit.
i haven't been into the lifting and tire thing for several years and have no plans for mine. i enjoy it as is although i've seen some with bigger tires that look awesome.

hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
The only 2" kits I'm familiar w/ are the "RR" and the "Rusty's". Both are of the same design for lift and may only be a left coast vs. right cost thing on dealer preference. My dealer happens to like working w/ Rusty's Offroad as they are well liked here.

This lift is probably the easiest one to install of any lift on any Jeep w/ the difficulty being wheel/tire combinations to fit the odd clearance issues and ensuring that everything is lined up and balanced well. The Commander rides so smooth in stock form that you may notice a change in ride quality more easily. I don't know what this dealership has on hand, but maybe they can swap out a set of stock tires and test to rule out your bigger aftermarket tires. It should be under warranty no different than if it had no lift, so they would need to correct it in either case.

I'm meeting w/ the service manager and shop foreman at my dealership this week reference a lift, I'll see if they have any suggestions.

XKPearl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Commander,

I don't know if this will do you any good but this is what I've got:

The kit I'll be using is the one put out by Rusty's Offroad. My service guy likes dealing w/ Rusty and uses no other brand, though he said all such 2" kits have the same basic design and they are the same as used for the Grand Cherokee.

The Rusty's kit properly installed including alignment and tire balancing rides as smooth as the tires allow. You cannot tell the difference when using stock Forteras and there is no vibrations. They have no experience w/ the Rancho kit but I would expect it to be the same.

As far as factory wheels w/ larger tires go:

This dealer uses the factory Jeep wheels w/ a 1.5" spacer and a Michelin LTX M/S 255/70/17 tire as a larger replacement for the smooth riding Forteras. This combination meets their tests for clearance and they've tested this combo hard including emergency maneuvers at max body roll, etc. In addition, this combination rides as smooth as the Forteras do. Beyond this it is up to the tire design for clearance as some 265s clear to their requirements and some do not. They will not do major modifications as these are new vehicles, but as an owner you can grind off part of the knuckle stud and modify the European styled wheel tubs for the slightly larger tires such as used by RR and Rusty's. Anything bigger than this needs a bigger lift such as the AEV.

So in a nutshell, your Rancho kit should run as smooth as your tires. If all is squared away then it may be a blip in your tire.

Good Luck,
XKPearl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of your Help XKPearl! I have looked into the lift a little more and now I dont have a clue what they installed. I could have sworn they said it was a Rancho but I cant find one on their website. I took some photos so take a look and see if maybe you know who the maker is. I did call our service writer to let him know it still wasn't fixed and he said our Jeep has become the hot topic in their service department. Hopefully they will get it on the next go around. 4th service visit in 3k miles, I'm starting to wonder if it's all worth it. Well, here are the photos, take a look.




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,476 Posts
Whenever you lift a Jeep you run the risk of some driveline binding which will cause vibrations but at only 2" of lift you should not be experiencing that as the driveline angles shouldn't have changed enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
The pics of your kit does not look like my Rusty's. I've got the Rusty's on my XK now and am currently running it w/ the factory Forteras. I ran it on the highway up to 85mph and it is as smooth as stock. Disregard my earlier post on this kit having little value. I have found that this kit greatly improves off-road performance even w/ original sized tires. My tech just about has the XK down to a science. Tires one size up are no problem w/ spacer. On two sizes up he removes the wheel tubs and modifies the metal structure beneath and then reinstalls the tubs. I'll get a few more miles out of my Forteras while I wait to get some feedback on the new Wrangler SAs. If they turn out well, I'll get a set at least one size up.

XKPearl:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:)
Well the problem is solved. Kol picked it up yesterday and promptly drove to the closest highway and no vibration for the first time since we have owned the vehicle. The solution it seems was that the dealership has a bad tire balancer (or needs to be recalibrated). They ended up sending the vehicle to the local Discount Tire and had them check everything and thats where the problem lies. It was a relief that the problem was fixed easily but frustrating that it has been in 4 times due to their faulty equipment. At least its done.

One question XKPearl, why is your guy spacing the tires out and how far? We bought the Jeep with the Limited wheels and 265/65r17 Bridgestone Revo's and they fit fine. I can see where they may rub in the front when the wheel is turned and the suspension compresses but even with the spacer it seems like it would do it worse since the outer edge of the tire would be further from the center of the rotation of the steering knuckle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
Commander said:
:)
Well the problem is solved. Kol picked it up yesterday and promptly drove to the closest highway and no vibration for the first time since we have owned the vehicle. The solution it seems was that the dealership has a bad tire balancer (or needs to be recalibrated). They ended up sending the vehicle to the local Discount Tire and had them check everything and thats where the problem lies. It was a relief that the problem was fixed easily but frustrating that it has been in 4 times due to their faulty equipment. At least its done.

Good to see you're smiling again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
XKPearl said:
Commander,

I don't know if this will do you any good but this is what I've got:

The kit I'll be using is the one put out by Rusty's Offroad. My service guy likes dealing w/ Rusty and uses no other brand, though he said all such 2" kits have the same basic design and they are the same as used for the Grand Cherokee.

l
IMO there are significant differences in the WK/XK 2-inch kits. The Rusty/RR approach is entirely a front spacer at the top of the coilover assembly. The Daystar/Skyjacker achieves about half of their lift in this manner, but the other half is by prestressing the coil in the assembly. The result is a slilghtly stiffer ride--though I find it just right--but the perhaps more important result is the front end is better able to handle the increased center of gravity in cornering and IN EMERGENCY MANUEVERS.

One other IMO comment, having experienced the stock ride, the 2-inch lifted ride, and now the Superlift 4-inch ride I can without reservation say the 4-inch is the best at least for the WK. It in fact is rather hard to believe it rides and handles so well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Commander said:
:)
One question XKPearl, why is your guy spacing the tires out and how far?
Using the factory 17x7.5" rims and factory Forteras, there is minimal clearance on both tire width as well as tire height w/ the steering knuckle/stud. If you go up two sizes, especially if using a square edged tread A/T tire, you need to space the wheel out to make up for this increased width/height. Some rounded edge tires w/ lesser width fit easier. I think the spacer used is around 1.25" (IIRC). Also, the do-it-yourselfer can make additional modifications to the stud as well as the wheel well housing, AC lines that run behind it, etc. My kit was installed by my dealer using methods approved by Jeep that easily works w/ two sizes larger tires. It accomplishes my offroad needs and keeps me on solid ground w/ warranty coverage. When going to a larger tire than this and/or needing more severe offroad capability, the AEV system is the way to go. My opinion is that the XK Commander is limited by its sheer size as an offroad vehicle and I personally do not see any need to go further in lift/modifications.

XKPearl:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Gotcha. I thought the spacers were for a clearance issue with rubbing but I know exactly what your talking about on the steering knuckle stud. I can barely fit a finger between it and the tire. Thankfully Kol doesn't (or shouldn't) drive it hard enough to ever make contact. I've wondered if a hard enough impact of some sort could distort the tire enough to hit that stud but I think its pretty slim. I agree on the "hard core" use of these vehicles and maybe someday the AEV will be installed but for all practical purposes it wouldn't ever be used. I'm curous if you have had any mileage feedback from anyone who has the 4" kit with the 32.5 (285?) tires? Now that the vibration is gone, the whistle is fixed along with the Ac blower we're happy but we are still in the 11-12 mileage range and would love more.

On a side note, we had the Liberty CRD which we loved but it would randomly die and the dealer had no solution. I prefer diesel power over gas (hence my 2nd Cummins Ram) but we are eager to see what Jeep does in the future with offering Diesel equipped vehicles. I know one thing for sure we'll wait for the bugs to be worked out before we buy one. Unless of course they put one in the Wrangler Unlimited (4 door) and temptation may get the best of me.
Thanks for all of your help and feedback on this, it has been invaluable. (that goes for everyone:) )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
The dealership I go to has built and sold Jeeps since the '60s. They have a good relationship w/ the Rusty's outfit and since the modifications they do are on new vehicles that they sell, they maintain a very high standard of what is acceptable. They experiment at Jeeps expense to find a combination that works. As an example w/ the Rusty's on the XK, they were not satisfied w/ the kit as is because they managed to rub the tires during their emergency maneuver testing. The combinations that they came up w/ works properly w/out rubs on their tests and these guys run the crap out of the vehicles when testing. I'd much rather let them spend their dollars experimenting and break their stuff in the process. As a result, I know that what I have works.

As far as the AEV goes, I do not believe the computer technology has caught up w/ the mechanics of the lift. My Jeep tech can reprogram the computer w/ the Rusty's and larger tires so that everything works as intended. I do not believe this can be done w/ the AEV kit. The speedometer yes but the other electronics you cannot. Therefore, my guys look at the AEV kit as a warranty breaker at this point. They also feel that much more work needs to be done to get everything up to speed, just like they don't just bolt on the Rusty's kit.

I'm also looking at the new 4d Unlimited to use as a dedicated offroad vehicle. If this thing has the space they claim while retaining the offroad capability of the older version, then it sounds like a good companion for the XK.

XKPearl:)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top